Home Skincare The Best Order To Apply Your Skincare Routine: 5 Vital Steps

The Best Order To Apply Your Skincare Routine: 5 Vital Steps

Anyone else notice how EVERYONE seems to be getting into skincare, during self isolation?

At least 2 different friends have texted me, enquiring about skincare recommendations, eventually asking:

But what’s the best order to apply your skincare routine?

Once I finish this article, I’ll thankfully just be able to send them a link to this.

Win win, right? It also looks like searches on Google for skincare are at an all time high, which explains why everyone seems to be getting into it.

However, wether you’re a skincare noob, or skincare addict, the best order to apply your skincare routine can get confusing.

Our bathrooms are filled with face oils, essences, spot treatments and sunscreens, all of which we’re not 100% certain on their order.

There’s just TOO MANY products.

The best order to apply your skincare routine is as follows:

  • Cleanser
  • Toner
  • Serums
  • Moisturiser
  • Sunscreen

But Lazyhealth, how long should I wait between each step?

Great question.

A great rule of thumb to follow, is simply wait 1 minute between each step, allowing the active ingredients to soak and penetrate deeper into your skin.

To go into more depth of the best order to apply your skincare routine, here’s a handy guide for both day and night routines.

(Take a screenshot to remember!)

image by Faceplusshop.

Great, so you’ve got the the best order to apply your skincare routine saved to your phone, now what?

It’s to make sure a god-tier skincare order isn’t wasted on bad products.

Below, we’ll go over the BEST possible products to buy for each step:

Use the menu above to navigate to particular sections of the article.

The Best Cleansers

The key to a god-tier cleanser is that it’s gentle, and doesn’t strip away your natural oil barrier.

They’re the first step in the best order to apply your skincare routine, so make sure you’re using an amazing product.

Here are some of our favourite cleansers you can buy:

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

This cleanser is perfect for all skin types, especially oily and acne prone.

It isn’t harsh, and maintains your skins natural oil barrier.

With your newly discovered best order to apply your skincare routine, this cleanser is a great starting point.

Hada Labo Japan Gokujyun Foaming Cleanser

The Best Order To Apply Your Skincare Routine: Hada Labo Japan Gokujyun Foaming Cleanser

Rich in Hyaluronic Acid, this gentle foaming cleanser exfoliates your skin softly, working away at dirt, dead skin, oil, and other impurities.

Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser

The Best Order To Apply Your Skincare Routine cleanser

This cleanser is PERFECT for oily skin. With soothing ingredients such as aloe vera, it cleanses effectively, without drying out your skin.

The Best Toners

The best toners act to hydrate and prepare your skin for further steps, while also having active ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin c, salicylic acid etc.

With the best order to apply your skincare routine down pat, try out these amazing toners:

KLAIRS Supple Preparation Facial Toner

KLAIRS Supple Preparation Facial Toner

With strong hydrating factors, this toner is great for sensitive skin.

It has soothing natural plant extracts, that calms inflammation, or irritated skin.

Thayers Witch Hazel Facial Toner

Thayers Witch Hazel Facial Toner

This a personal favourite toner, and it will fit in perfectly to your skincare routine.

It’s gentle, hydrating, and contains NO alcohol.

Ideal for dry or oily skin.

The Best Serums

Here’s where you can get creative with your skin.

There’s a huge array of different skincare serums for all skin types and problems.

First find what your main issue is (pigmentation, irritation, oil) and work backwards to find the best active ingredient to combat it.

Serums are the 3rd step in the best order to apply your skincare routine.

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

This serum staple is a must have. It’s perfect for dealing with acne, irritation, improving skin brightness.

It’s further great for smoothing out pigmentation, and acne scarring.

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop

This powerful serum from Klairs delivers great skin brightening properties, through a high percentage of vitamin C.

It fades dark and brown spots, pigmentation, and scaring.

An amazing serum to have in your skincare routine order.

The Best Eye Creams

The best eye creams aim to combat puffiness, dark circles, and dryness.

They’re the 4th step in the best order to apply your skincare routine.

They can have active ingredients, however it’s best for their formulas to not be too strong, as around and under the eyes can be irritated easily.

The best eye creams to buy:

Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Eye Cream

Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Eye Cream

Okay yes… that is a big price tag, but hear me out. A lot of ‘expensive’ skincare is 100% not worth it.

(Designer skincare for example… writing those words makes me sick)

Sulwhasoo on the other hand, is genuinely unique, powerful, and worth it. You can do your own research on it though, don’t take my word for it.

Clinique All About Eyes Cream

It’s not $140, but it still gets the job done. Hydrating ingredients work to reduce dark circles and puffiness beneath your eyes.

The Best Spot Treatments

Spot treatments are perfect for small patches of skin that need extra attention, with strong active ingredients that would be a bit too much to apply normally all over your face.

Spot treatment should be the 5th step in the best order to apply your skincare routine.

Our favourites:

COSRX AC Collection Ultimate Spot Cream

This spot treatment is a MUST for your skincare routine. Use it to work away at pimples, and get clearer skin, faster.

With active ingredients of CentellAC-Rx Complex, Zinc Oxide, and calamine, this spot treatment works to not only get rid of pimples, but also heal and calm the skin.

Rohto Merano Cc Medicinal Stains Intensive Measures Essence

I personally LOVE this spot treatment. It’s an extremely potent vitamin C cream, that works to brighten skin and dark spots.

You shouldn’t be popping your pimples, but just in case you do, this treatment is great to make sure no dark spot is left.

Use it daily at night, to quickly fade any pigmentation, marks, or redness.

It can further be used to treat mild acne scars, as the vitamin c promotes skin renewal and regeneration.

The Best Moisturisers

Moisturisers are perhaps the most vital step, as they lock in moisture, and can stop your skin from getting dehydrated or flakey.

Moisturising should be the 6th step, in the best order to apply your skincare routine.

Coming from experience, a good moisturiser is hard to come by. They’re either too thick and oily, causing my skin to break out, or they’re too watery and provide no protection.

Thankfully, good ones do exist out there. Here’s the best:

Neutrogena Hydro Boost

It’s a classic, it’s a staple; it’s what every skincare guru and their grandma uses.

Seriously, I don’t think any skincare enthusiast hasn’t given this one a try. And for good reason.

With hyaluronic acid, this water based gel provides easy, simple moisture.

A great moisturiser for your skincare routine, and the ideal product to start with, if you’re just getting into skincare.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

I personally use this moisturiser for the AM and PM, every day.

It’s simple, and won’t break you out if you have sensitive skin.

It’s also a thicker moisturiser, which locks in moisturiser for hours throughout the day.

Would highly recommend for your skincare routine.

The Best Face Oils

I’ve personally seen my skin thrive from the right face oils.

They should also be the 7th step in the best order to apply your skincare routine.

Don’t tell anyone, but my secret moisturiser isn’t even a moisturiser at all… It’s just face oils combined with aloe gel.

You can keep a secret though, right? There’s a wide range of different oils available (almost too many) which all have different properties, and can help with different skin conditions.

The Ordinary ‘B’ Oil

Best skincare routine steps

Okay, let’s get the bad out of the way. This face oil literally smells like cheese.

I wish I was joking. It straight up just smells like cheese.

The good side, is that it’s a damn amazing face oil, perfect for your skincare routine.

It’s a mix of a bunch of different oils, including rosehip, avocado, and more.

If you can get over the strange smell, it’s genuinely one of the best face oils out there. Your skin will love it.

The Best Retinols

Using retinol isn’t for everyone, however it can have great anti-ageing and anti-scaring properties.

If you decide to use retinol, it should be the 8th step in the best order to apply your skincare routine.

The Ordinary %1 Retinol in Squalane

This an amazing retinol to start off with in your newly discovered best order to apply your skincare routine.

It’s low in strength, however you should start off using it only 1-2 times per week, and wait for your skin to adjust.

CeraVe Anti Aging Retinol Serum

With ceramides, hyaluronic acid, AND retinol, this retinol serum is a powerhouse.

The key ingredients work to increase skin texture, while smoothing wrinkles, scarring, and fine lines.

The Best Sunscreens

You’ve finally made it.

The 9th step of the best order to apply your skincare routine.

Good sunscreens are hard to find in the sea of mediocre ones. Some are too shiny, too oily, too drying, too heavy.

However sometimes, once in a blue moon, you’ll find the ONE.

Or maybe you haven’t found it yet, which perhaps we can help with.

Biore Sarasara UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence

biore UV sunscreen

This powerful SPF 50 Sunscreen is brilliant. It drys on matt, and leaves your skin with a radiant glow throughout the day.

It’s perfect for oily skin, as it completely removes any shine or forehead oil slick you’ll get.

It’s featured in our article on the best skincare products for oily skin (which if you have oily skin, is worth checking out).

CANMAKE Mermaid Skin Gel UV

CANNMAKE sunscreen

This amazing sunscreen will transform your relationship with sunscreen.

It’s ideal for dryer skin, and drys shiny; but not in any way you’re used to.

it leaves your skin glowing with a bright, glimmering texture.

If you want an easy ‘make-up’ look, without any actual make-up, give this sunscreen a try.

There you have recommendations and a guide for the best order to apply your skincare routine!

Hopefully we’ve helped you out in terms of the proper order, and pointed you in the right direction for some simply brilliant skincare products.

Skincare is just the start

To work towards better skin, aspects of your health can play a major role, such as diet.

Unfortunately all skincare problems can’t be solved by just learning about the best order to apply your skincare routine. (I wish they were, though).

Thankfully, we’ve got you covered, with our article on the top 5 superfoods for glowing skin. You won’t be disappointed.

At LazyHealth we independently research, test, and recommend the best products. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.


  1. I truly appreciate this post. I¦ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thanks again


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